Serious Mental Illness Blog

Official blog for LIU Post's Clinical Psychology Doctorate SMI Specialty Concentration

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[Article of Interest] Raising the Ritalin Generation
By Bronwen Hruska
Excerpt:  I remember the moment my son’s teacher told us, “Just a little medication could really turn things around for Will.” We stared at her as if she were speaking Greek.
“Are you talking about Ritalin?” my husband asked.
Will was in third grade, and his school wanted him to settle down in order to focus on math worksheets and geography lessons and social studies. The children were expected to line up quietly and “transition” between classes without goofing around. This posed a challenge — hence the medication.
“We’ve seen it work wonders,” his teacher said. “Will’s teachers are reprimanding him. If his behavior improves, his teachers will start to praise him. He’ll feel better about himself and about school as a whole.”
Will did not bounce off walls. He wasn’t particularly antsy. He didn’t exhibit any behaviors I’d associated with attention deficit or hyperactivity. He was an 8-year-old boy with normal 8-year-old boy energy — at least that’s what I’d deduced from scrutinizing his friends.
“He doesn’t have attention deficit,” I said. “We’re not going to medicate him.”The teacher looked horrified. “We would never suggest you do that,” she said, despite doing just that in her previous breath. “We aren’t even allowed by law to suggest that. Just get him evaluated.”And so it began.
If “accelerated” has become the new normal, there’s no choice but to diagnose the kids developing at a normal rate with a disorder. Instead of leveling the playing field for kids who really do suffer from a deficit, we’re ratcheting up the level of competition with performance-enhancing drugs. We’re juicing our kids for school.
We’re also ensuring that down the road, when faced with other challenges that high school, college and adult life are sure to bring, our children will use the coping skills we’ve taught them. They’ll reach for a pill.

[Article of Interest] Raising the Ritalin Generation

By Bronwen Hruska

Excerpt:  I remember the moment my son’s teacher told us, “Just a little medication could really turn things around for Will.” We stared at her as if she were speaking Greek.


“Are you talking about Ritalin?” my husband asked.


Will was in third grade, and his school wanted him to settle down in order to focus on math worksheets and geography lessons and social studies. The children were expected to line up quietly and “transition” between classes without goofing around. This posed a challenge — hence the medication.


“We’ve seen it work wonders,” his teacher said. “Will’s teachers are reprimanding him. If his behavior improves, his teachers will start to praise him. He’ll feel better about himself and about school as a whole.”


Will did not bounce off walls. He wasn’t particularly antsy. He didn’t exhibit any behaviors I’d associated with attention deficit or hyperactivity. He was an 8-year-old boy with normal 8-year-old boy energy — at least that’s what I’d deduced from scrutinizing his friends.


“He doesn’t have attention deficit,” I said. “We’re not going to medicate him.”
The teacher looked horrified. “We would never suggest you do that,” she said, despite doing just that in her previous breath. “We aren’t even allowed by law to suggest that. Just get him evaluated.”

And so it began.

If “accelerated” has become the new normal, there’s no choice but to diagnose the kids developing at a normal rate with a disorder. Instead of leveling the playing field for kids who really do suffer from a deficit, we’re ratcheting up the level of competition with performance-enhancing drugs. We’re juicing our kids for school.

We’re also ensuring that down the road, when faced with other challenges that high school, college and adult life are sure to bring, our children will use the coping skills we’ve taught them. They’ll reach for a pill.

Filed under Questions western emotions research resilience trauma unconscious intelligence Prozac psychology ptsd psychiatry psychoanalysis psychosis psychotherapy psychopharmacology psychopathology ritalin addiction abuse affective science strength Survivor substance new york times times drugs drug Diagnostic

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    This is the most real yet depressing thing I have ever read. Kids should be allowed to be who they are not some...
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    lol you have an issue with this, dont let your kids use this stuff. but for everyone who actually needs it, back the...
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    Why not reach for a pill? People reach for pills all the time to improve their life. Some people stop their menstrual...
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